Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]
A steamer came in today from New York bringing a large mail for the soldiers, but no
letter for me. I suppose that the letters that you or Laura wrote must have stopped
at N.Y. Pickett and John Prichard got letters and from them we learned that folks
were generally well at home. We are now quartered in Willard's hotel. Instead of
going into tents in the Fort as we expected, it was finally decided take up our
quarters here. We have a large, cool room in the first story, and are as comfortably
situated as can be. There are five of us here, Andross, Pickett, Stearns, Prichard
and myself. Pickett and I sleep together, Andross in the other bed, (a narrow one)
and Stearns and Prichard on the floor. Our cooking arrangements are in small field in
front of the house. For dinner today, the officers had fried potatoes, pork, bread
and ice water, the latter a luxury that we have not before enjoyed. We had some rice,
and toast for tea last night. The steamer that brought the mail, brought also thirty
cattle, so we shall have some fresh beef again. The men complain a good deal of this
living, salt beef and hard
bread. They have beans and rice occasionally however. It is pretty hard for them to be cut off from potatoes and butter. It is harder labor then most of them bargained for, but they cannot very well evade it now. Today the Woodstock Company is detailed for labor, and they are mounting ten such Columbiad guns. By that is meant guns that will admit a ball or shell ten inches in diameter, and throw either shot or shells. They will carry three miles with ease and no southern force will be allowed to erect any batteries within reach of us. They are dismounting old guns not so large and putting up these big ones in their stead. Our fort will be perfectly safe from any attack.
The hotel in which we are is outside the fort and is a great summer resort. It will accommodate a thousand guests, so that we don't make much show in it, altho' we pay $1000 a month for the use of it.
Charlie Peters was just in here and he sends his love to you & all the folks. By the way has Zeke got over his fever for enlisting yet? If he could hear a few of the boys grumble here it would cure him. The Regiment has drilled 2 1/2 hours this forenoon and shall have 1 ½ hours drill this P.M.
I took some cold at Rutland and have suffered considerable in consequence, but am now
better. About two thirds of the company
are complaining, but warm weather will cure them and sleeping in doors. If you want to see just how Fort Monroe is situated, (unless you have a map of it in some of the papers) you can go to the office and in the room next to the office find the "Coast Survey" a large book on one of the bottom shelves - in that you will find an accurate map of the whole fort and surrounding country. I suppose of course you take a great interest in all that pertains to our movements.
I hope you will take good care of the papers & not loose any. The Tribune office sent us some of their papers today, the first thing of the kind we have had since we came here. We are just reading the news that we have lost for a week fast. Tell Zeke to send me a "Telegraph" every week. Some of the boys received "Aurora" today. You may direct your letters and papers to "Fort Monroe, Virginia". Say nothing about care of Fairbanks & Co. for I think that is the reason that I rec'd no letter from you today. Direct to me care of Capt. D. K. Andross, 4th Co. 1st. Regt- Vermont Volunteers, Fort Monroe &c. I have changed the address a good many times but I believe this is right.
Write often you and Laura both, and I will write her as soon as I get one from her.
When either of you write let me know which
of my letters you last rec'd. You must write as often as twice a week so that I should be sure to get some of your letters.
We shall probably remain where we are but soldiers never know what is to happen next, so I shall not be disturbed at whatever happens. Write me how your health is and all about yourself and household. You must just take things quietly and easily as you can. When you write let me know all about affairs of the village as much as you can. Give my love to your father, and all your friends.
Mr. Batchelder will get you about $25.00 the first week of court and I hope you will try and get along till that time without trouble. I expected we should get some pay before we left home, but we did not, as soon as we do I will send you some money, or before if you need. I have some that I can send you if you will write.
I think of you and your health very often and hope that you will be spared any sickness till I get home. Remember me to Mrs. Strickland and family- Baldwin &c. &c.
Has Laura got the small pox? Is there any chance of Zeke catching it? or of you from him? I hope you will take proper care without being too much frightened. Much love.
From your affectionate husbandRoswell Farnham